Phil Carter certainly seems to be saying Iraq=Vietnam: Irrelevant Exuberance
It takes months–perhaps even years–to gain the depth and perspective on Iraq necessary to develop a reasonably objective and balanced understanding of events there. Neither O’Hanlon and Pollack nor conservative scholars like Fred Kagan, the intellectual architect of the current surge, spend nearly enough time in Iraq to understand its shifting, uncertain realities.
I wasn’t watching, but surely Carter says this whenever critics say that the “surge” isn’t working, too, right? Right? I mean, two journalists turn in a cautiously optimistic report after months of “it’s not working”, and suddenly no one can know unless they’ve been there for “months–perhaps even years”?
How about we send Congressional leaders to Iraq for months, perhaps even years. In three years they’ll have a better understanding of what’s happening on the ground over there and can then make informed decisions.
Carter does raise a lot of important points, particularly that military success and basic security is only part of the game…if Iraqis cannot govern themselves ably, true victory will remain out of reach. But I don’t hear supporters of the “surge” saying otherwise.
I’ve personally been treated to years of “the military isn’t winning in Iraq”, which turned into “the military might be winning a few battles, but they’re still losing the wider war” a couple of months back. Now it’s “even though the military is winning, it doesn’t matter”.
Blah blah blah.
Via Instapundit, who says
But is Baqubah really a place with “the highest sectarian tensions, worst fighting, and least progress”? That’s not what Michael Yon has been reporting from . . . Baqubah.
Yeah, but how long has Yon been in and out of Iraq? Oh…two or three years. Well, it must take at least four years, then…